Why Do We Need Plant Factories?
According to a new United Nations report published recently, the current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100, with roughly 83 million people being added to the world’s population every year.
More people means the world needs to produce more food, with the fact that nearly 11% of the world’s population struggles with access to food. We will likely need 50% to 70% more food to feed the 9.8 billion people estimated to be on the planet by 2050.
An estimated of 109 hectares of new land (add 20% to the size of Brazil) will be needed to grow sufficient food to feed the population if we use the traditional farming as practice today. However, over 80% of the land that is suitable for growing crops is already in use. Therefore, the only solution to overcome food shortage is to increase the food production per hectare of land.
In addition to increasing world population, climate change is another problem the world is currently facing. Extreme weather such as drought and floods will only bring more devastating impacts to agriculture.
What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?
Plant Factory Is the Answer
A plant factory is the factory that grows plants indoor. These indoor farms could be the key to solving food shortages in the world. Plant factories take what factories do best, which is harnessing technology to efficiently produce a good; and what nature does best, which is producing biomass from light, water and nutrients, and combining the two.
It is the real agricultural industrialisation of the era.
Indoor farming implemented through plant factories has the potential to be the best of both worlds. It could become a viable option in the future, especially in remote or developing countries that suffer from extreme climates that heavily impact their crop growth.